2015 - Volume #39, Issue #4, Page #02[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Giant Vending Machine Sells Corn 24/7
A trio of Mississippi medical professionals came up with the idea thanks to their passion for the outdoors and hunting. It was the result of a brainstorming session between Dr. James Hall and Chip Chisholm, who’s a registered nurse and avid deer hunter. Chisholm noted that it would be handy to have a vending machine for corn so he could make purchases day or night. In 2011, the partners hired an engineer to design two models – one that holds 260 bushels and one that holds 340. Medical sales representative, Dan Barnes, joined the new business, bringing organizational and marketing skills.
“Our user-friendly units dispense fresh grain on demand without an attendant,” Hall says. “Our business approach is to manufacture the Corn Xpress vending machines and sell distributorships. Buyers own the machine and set prices based on local markets.”
Hall says that until now people who need to buy corn for wildlife or to feed livestock must do so within typical business hours. That’s a problem with today’s busy schedules. With Corn Xpress they can buy at their own convenience.
Because the vending machines eliminate middlemen, the producer nets more profit, Hall notes. In Mississippi, for example, corn sells at the elevator for about $3.50/bushel. Selling it through the vending machine for about 20 cents/lb. – or about $11 per bushel - farmers can increase gross profits per bushel. Corn Xpress is actually set up to sell by the gallon in quantities of 5, 10, 33 and 55 gal., depending on the bucket or barrel customers want filled.
An unloading auger feeds into trucks or trailers. Just a standard 120 AC volt plug is required to run the vending machine, so it can be set up at any high traffic location, such as a convenience store or local co-op.
Hall notes that Corn Xpress can also dispense other grains, pellets, and even rock salt.
Cost for either model is right at $40,000, which includes delivery and setup, sales support, and maintenance. Depending on the location, return on investment can be as soon as 18 to 24 months, Hall says.
Two Corn Xpress units have been set up in Mississippi, and the partners are ready to team up with more entrepreneurs.
For more information, contact: Dr. James Hall (ph 601-320-3922 or email firstname.lastname@example.org); Dan Barnes (ph 601-573-9784); or Chip Chisholm (ph 601-720-9757). Or go to the company website at www.cornxpress.com or Facebook page.
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